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Environment

Vancouver's cigarette butts are being used to manufacture shipping pallets, among other th...

What can you say about cigarette butts? They instantly make wherever they are look seedy, they don't biodegrade, plus they're highly toxic to aquatic organisms. It turns out, however, that they are good for something. The City of Vancouver and TerraCycle Canada launched a first-of-its-kind pilot program this Tuesday, in which the butts will be collected for recycling.  Read More

Scientists have had success at capturing rare earth elements diluted in industrial wastewa...

Rare earth elements are an integral part of many of today's electronic devices, serving as magnets, catalysts and superconductors. Unfortunately, these minerals are also ... well, rare, and thus very pricey. Recently, however, scientists discovered that some of them can be reclaimed from industrial wastewater, instead of being mined from the earth.  Read More

Samsung's Digital Villages are powered by the Sun

Combining solar power, health care and education is the concept behind Samsung’s Digital Villages, a project recently launched in South Africa as the kick-off a larger plan that includes units in Ethiopia and Gabon by the end of 2013. The Digital Village is also designed to help local traders develop their business with a sustainable and low-cost alternative to fossil fuels.  Read More

A CPV system brings electricity to Madagascar villagers

Fondation Énergies pour le Monde (Energy for the World Foundation), an organization that promotes clean energy in developing countries, has completed the installation of a concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system in Ambondro, southern Madagascar. The CPV system was also combined with existing wind turbines in the village, with project partner Sunidarity claiming it is the first decentralized rural electrification operation of its kind in Madagascar.  Read More

The raw materials and end products of the recycling process

Of all the things that we regularly dispose of, you would think that shoes would be one of the most difficult to recycle. Not only are well-used shoes kind of ... gross, but they're also made of a variety of different materials, all of which are joined together. Nonetheless, scientists at Loughborough University in the UK announced last week that they have created and trialled "the world’s first comprehensive system for separating and recovering useful materials from old footwear."  Read More

UK company Pro-Teq's glow-in-the-dark spray coating could prove a cheaper alternative to c...

UK company Pro-Teq has developed a new water-resistant, spray-on coating that absorbs UV light during the day and releases it at night, adapting to the lighting conditions in its surroundings. The technology is being given a test run at the Christ's Pieces park in Cambridge, and could prove a cost effective alternative to conventional street lighting.  Read More

 2,000 shipping containers are planned to be transformed into water purifying stations

Joining forces with engineering firm Deka R&D, Coca-Cola has launched a project which will see the transformation of approximately 2,000 shipping containers into water purifying stations. Dubbed Ekocenter, the shipping container module has been designed to provide isolated and developing communities with facilities to produce safe drinking water, as well as access to wireless internet technology and solar powered charging.  Read More

The new Spirit Solar Powered Lighting Column can be powered 100-percent by the sun

Street lights are one of things people in heavily populated areas tend to take for granted. They make walking and driving a safer, more pleasant experience, but they also account for a significant chunk of a city's energy usage. Solar powered street lights offer a solution for places where electricity is at a premium, or locations that are off the grid completely and the Spirit Solar Powered Lighting Column is the first example we've seen which rolls the post and the panels together in a standalone design.  Read More

Nuon Team preparing for business time (Photo: World Solar Challenge)

Delft University's Nuon Solar Team has won the Challenger class of the World Solar Challenge. Its solar-powered Nuna 7 vehicle arrived in Adelaide at 10:03 a.m. on the morning of the fifth day of the event, having led from the front for the full 3,021 km from Darwin, crossing Australia from north coast to south in a total of a little over 33 hours. That puts its average speed at an impressive 91 km/h (57 mph).  Read More

Vitamilk's 'Dead batteries for Dead Batteries' charging wall

Thai soymilk company Vitamilk has rolled out a rather interesting advertising vehicle in the form of a large signboard that takes "dead" batteries and squeezes enough extra power out of them to charge smartphones.  Read More

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